Christmas time isn't only for Santa and kidlets. In the world of cinema, some filmmakers and actors get notable awards to scatter amongst their presents, while others only get to scatter empty space and the dismal tarnish of broken dreams. As films push to get themselves into the running before the ball drops, critics have started to share their picks. So, while we were all enjoying our weekends, the Los Angeles, Boston, New York, and D.C. critics were picking their best films of the year. B-town was all over a certain country for old folks, while the others were crazy for a little blood. Many of the critics picked the same films, so peruse this list and weigh in on who/what they're all forgetting about.

Here are the lucky winners, all courtesy of Variety:

Los Angeles

Paul Thomas Anderson was victorious in LaLa land, with his most recent film, There Will Be Blood -- the story of a Texan prospector during the early days of the oil business. The film nabbed the best picture slot, best director, best actor for Daniel Day Lewis, best production design for Jack Fisk, and then runner-up slots for screenplay, music, and cinematography.

Julian Schnabel also made a solid showing with The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, the story about French Elle EIC Jean-Dominique Bauby and the stroke that changed his life. The film won only the award for best cinematography for Janusz Kaminski, but it received some runner-up nods as well -- best picture, director, and foreign language film.

Other winners include: La Vie en rose, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, and a tie between Ratatouille and Persepolis for best animated feature.

New York (online critics)

In New York, all the way across the country, Julian Schnabel and Paul Thomas Anderson's films tied for best film, while Blood still nabbed best director and actor. Julie Christie scored the top actress spot for her portrayal of an alzheimer's patient in Sarah Polley's Away From Her, while Cate Blanchett's Bob Dylan got her the best supporting nod. Once again, Persepolis tied, but this time it was for best foreign film with last year's The Lives of Others, while also reigning supreme in the animated category.

Other winners include: Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men, Michael Moore trumping with Sicko for the documentary category, and Ellen Page, unsurprisingly, as best breakout for her time in Juno.


This time around, the Blood was replaced by the Old Men as it battled the Butterfly. No Country for Old Men even beat The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by one vote on the third ballot for best picture. Schnabel, meanwhile, beat the Coens for the director spot, Kaminski won again for cinematographer, and Ben Affleck even got some nods for Gone Baby Gone -- Amy Ryan got supporting actress while he got himself a new filmmaker award.

Other winners include: Ratatouille for animated screenplay, Marion Cotillard for La Vie en rose, and Frank Langella popped up for his role in Starting Out in the Evening. Also, while New York played it safe with Sicko, the home of the tea party sent their documentary praise to Crazy Love -- the story of a man and woman who married after he went to prison for blinding her with acid.

Washington, D.C.

What list is complete without some political flavor? Man of the same names showed up again -- No Country as best film, Butterfly as best foreign, and Sicko as best documentary. However, George Clooney also made an appearance for his role in Michael Clayton, while hot writer Diablo Cody won best original screenplay for Juno.